Research Project Summary Information
Continuous Flow Process for Manufacturing Aliphatic Polycarbonates (APCs) a Feasibility Study(ST10957-1)
Novomer is a startup company founded in 2004, based on technology developed at Cornell University. Novomer is in the process of commercializing a family of plastics, Aliphatic Polycarbonates (APCs). APCs are high performance, biodegradable plastics that have low-cost potential and use carbon dioxide as a feedstock. Traditionally plastics are manufactured almost entirely from petrochemicals. Currently, APCs are being made using a batch process for high value capacitor, ceramics, and Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) markets. A continuous manufacturing process for synthesizing the APCs would provide economies of scale, raw material volume discounts, and reduce labor costs. Novomer needs to determine whether a continuous process facility would be the next appropriate step to expand production and develop new markets.
This project will conduct a feasibility study that focuses on addressing three objectives: financial feasibility, market feasibility, and energy and environmental impacts. Novomer will conduct extensive research within each objective to determine the overall feasibility of a continuous process.
Some benefits of this project are to create a larger market sector towards non-petroleum based plastics, which will in return reduce dependence on foreign oil. Also, it provides reduced energy consumption compared to the production of petroleum based plastics.
The feasibility study has been completed with good results,showing the financial and market feasibility. In addition, the environmental and energy impacts were evaluated. While final impacts data is premature given the fact that the final process parameters are still being developed in the follow up project, this study enabled Novomer to develop several partnerships and achieve additional investment from private sources (DSM) and the Department of Energy (two rounds totaling several million dollars). This project work has been expanded and continued under a second contract (#15745)in which Novomer is working with Kodak to develop continuous manufacturing capabilities at the Eastman Business Park (formerly Kodak Park).
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R&D - Mfg Tech & On-Site Pwr